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Old February 26th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #1
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shooting a 7 person interview

I'm going to be shooting an interview with 6 or 7 people in shot discussing their exploits and reminiscing on camera - plenty of interaction between them. Any suggestions how to mic this? Normally I use Sennheiser G2 wireless mikes and lavs for interviews, but I'm wondering if there would be issues about using 7 wireless units (greater chance of picking up interference on one of the frequencies?) - would I be better served by an NT3 on a fixed boom?

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Greg
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #2
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If they are all going to be seated, I would rig them up with 6-7 wired lavs.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #3
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Yup, sounds like a typical studio set. Just hard wire them with lavs, and run them to a mixer to feed to your cam.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #4
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Sounds good, thanks guys.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #5
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But there should be no problem getting 6 or 7 lavs into the same block of frequencies. We often run 8 without any problem, although a lot will depend on how free you are of interference sources in your chosen block.

Having said that, going wired will be both easier and cheaper if your subjects aren't moving around alot.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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If I was going to do this without regard to difficulty of setup, I would have each participant wear a wired lav AND I would use a good small-diaphram cardioid condenser mic on a fixed boom. These 7 lavs and one cardioid would be both mixed to tape by a knowledgeable mixer and iso-recorded to some form of 8-track recorder. That way you would have speed of production and the ability to fix any problem spots.
Some key points to remember: It will be very important to work in a room with good acoustics. Low ambient noise and minimal reflective surfaces. If you have a great sounding room, a single mic can work very well and be very easy. Positioning all the participants in relation to the mic would be important though.
With lavs on closely-seated participants, there will always be the problem of off-mic bleed-in and phasing when the signals are mixed. This will especially be true when there is rapid interchange and multiple mics are up as the operator doesn't want to lose anything. As with the fixed low-noise cardioid at a greater distance, low-noise lav mics are very important because you will typically be mixing live at a lower level than is optimal, at least some of the time as the discussion and the mixer controls flow up and down.
It will be critical that the sound operator has an unobstructed view of the participants and has a sensible arrangement of the numbered mics among the participants' positions. They won't have time to think about which mic is which, they'll be playing the mixer like an instrument while monitoring in MONO.
A properly set compressor between the mixer and camera can help out too.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #7
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If you do go wireless with that many units and positioned close together, you'll need to stick with frequency settings that the manufacturor has stated won't interfere with each other through intermodulation. Every two transmitters combine to make a weak signal on a third frequency, which might by bad luck be one of your other transmitters. Having 7 transmitters multiplies out to a lot of ghost frequencies, not to mention having 7 chances of getting outside interference. I would go wired if possible. There are also computer programs and pc-card antenna that can check that out on-site if your wireless doesn't do self-checking for interference.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #8
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Echoing Jay's sentiment, an adage worth remembering is "When you are able, always use a cable." <g>
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #9
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If they're sitting at a table don't overlook the use of a boundary mic. not as good as a lav on everyone but a lot easier to setup. Even if I had all the lavs one boundary mic into a separate channel as a backup sure wouldn't hurt.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Bob Grant is right. If they're on a table, a boundary mic works wonders.
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